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sessed of no virtue save rude valour, and faith to
him ; recking little of the earth,^save as a stage for
a war-affray. " Let those till who are sure to
reap," they would cry in the castle hall on nights
of revel. " While Northumberland has boors, we
shall not want bread : while Cumberland has steers,
we shall not want beef."
'Twas an autumn evening. By a half open case-
ment stood a maiden, thoughtfully looking forth,
now on the fair stream, the blue hills, the slowly
setting sun. A tread is heard on the corridor. A
hand is on the latch of the door. She half turned
her head. The rays of the setting sun hung amid
long raven ringlets, gave a heavenly softness to her
sad white brow, tempered the brilliancy of her large
black mournful eyes, softened the dignity, approach-
ing to sternness, of her countenance, and placed in
bold relief her full rounded majestic figure. The
door opened. One, in the first stage of manhood,
entered. Tall was he, past the common height, with
broad shoulders ; muscular, yet graceful withal ;
limbs formed equally for deeds of prowess or feats
of dexterity ; cheeks browned with healthful toil ;
black flowing hair ; eyes black, preternaturally
bright. Such was the chief of the Irvings — the
hero of Bannockburn — -the son of the glorious stan-
" Ever sad, my sweet sister," said the chief, throw-
ing himself on a seat beside the maiden. " Methinks
the beauty of our new dwelling might chase away
all sad recollections of our early northern home.
See," continued he, throwing the casement fully
open, " the blue hills to the west, clothed in the
golden mantle of an autumnal eve ; the lone river.

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